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IAF Chief: Iran source of most threats to Israel

January 29, 2013


At space conference, Amir Eshel says “Syria is falling apart, no one knows what future holds,” warns of Assad’s unconventional arms.

IAF Chief: Iran source of most threats to IsraelPhoto: Ariel Jerozolimksi

Israel’s need to deal with developing threats before they begin having an impact on the country’s security is growing, Israel Air Force Chief, Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel, told a Herzliya space conference on Tuesday.

Speaking at the Eight Annual Space Conference, hosted by the Fisher Institute, Eshel said that “most of the threats come to our borders from Iran through various ways.”

Turning his sights to Syria, Eshel said the country is “falling part.”

“Today, no one has an idea of what will be in Syria, and how the country will look. This is happening in a place with a vast arsenal of weapons, some of which is modern and advanced, and some of which is unconventional,” he added.

“This isn’t our backyard – it’s right on our borders. This is a very big challenge for us. Beyond that, we are dealing with a very wide spectrum of enemies and threat. From the sub-conventional to the unconventional. From the knife to the nuclear, in shifting ranges. We are facing very varied weapons, including Western and eastern arms, and weapons produced locally,” said the IAF commander.

“Spring is a season that does not exist in our region, and the ‘Arab spring’ is a term that certainly does not fit our reality. There are clear dramatic changes, starting from the lack of sovereignty of regional states, which leads to exposure to terrorist activities,” Eshel said. “Borders that were once silent are affected. States around us are falling apart.”

In the current regional reality, Israel’s fronts and its civilian home front are under threat from ground-to-ground missiles and rockets, cruise missiles, and drones, Eshel said.

He described space as an arena that provides “strategic depth” and which “clearly expresses Israel’s quality edge, which must be safeguarded in the future. Our ability as a country in space is central in terms our deterrence, and allows to act in any range, in a continuous manner, and covertly, without violating sovereignty.

The world of satellite sensors was experiencing rapid development, he added.

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